Reena Ranger, Chair of Women Empowered, is In Conversation with Pavan Dhanjal this time as part of her regular series for iGlobal to explore some inspirational facets from the life and achievements of prominent Global Indians.
Pavan is a henna artist and entrepreneur, whose Pavan Henna Bar brand continues to grow with outlets across London and the UK as well as Dubai, New York, Milan and Paris. With a Guinness World Record breaking win for completing 512 unique armbands in an hour under her belt, the world's fastest henna artist talks to Reena about working from home (a lot!), innovating with online training courses and refreshing the Mind, Body and Soul during the coronavirus lockdown.
What has the lockdown taught you about yourself, and others?
Lockdown has given me a whole new perspective; what I thought was important to get done now seems so frivolous, and what I deemed to be on the low priority list now forms the most important parts of my day. The three elements I have been focusing on that I would talk a lot about are Mind, Body and Soul.
I?ve been meditating a lot, something I wanted to master for a long time, but was always too 'stressed? to do missing the fact that this is what would eliminate the stress. Body I would work out once a week and make it a chore, now I work out five-six times a week and crave the workout. And, Soul Cooking, I love when family enjoy a good meal. Working on my business and innovating has kept my spirits high.
Lockdown has taught me we are all in the same position, ultimately we all want the same thing.
What impact has Covid-19 had on your world and what is your new normal?
It's had a very big impact, work especially. The stores we operate in have all closed, so it stopped business for us altogether. However, we used this time to innovate and create new ways of offering our service and products.
We have online training courses, where we have taught students in Austria, Spain and Cyprus, as well as the UK. Also, where we were more service driven, we have changed our focus to products, and this has given a fresh angle to our business. Our new normal is working at home (a lot!) and building ourselves internally I guess that's the same for personal life as well.
If you could go back and give your teenage self one bit of advice, what would it be?
Not to miss my accounting lectures! I think this would have been a big help to my work, as understanding numbers is such an important part of life, not just in business.
What were the defining moments that led to becoming the world's fastest henna artist?
At 15, I knew I wanted to have my own business, and when I saw henna being applied, that was a defining moment for me.
When I picked up a cone and started designing, I knew that was what I wanted to do.
Whilst pursuing henna, I think the most defining moment was working on the set of EastEnders?, where one of the make-up artists said: Wouldn t it be great to have a henna bar in Selfridges? That just clicked with me, and became a goal that I achieved and has led me to so many more achievements. Reena Ranger is the Chair and Co-Founder of Women Empowered.In this exclusive In Conversation? series for iGlobal, the dynamic entrepreneur-philanthropist will be catching up with high-achieving Global Indians across different fields to spotlight some insightful life lessons.